It is an exciting time in your life to be expecting a newborn. As a mother, you are anxiously waiting to bring your bundle of joy into this world. As your body continues to nourish the life growing inside of you, you soon notice pain coming from your lower back. It becomes difficult for you to walk, move from sitting to standing, lying on your side, and bending at the waist… the list goes on! But why are you having lower back pain during pregnancy?
Physical Changes of Pregnancy Causing Low Back Pain
During pregnancy, your body has to make crucial changes to help support the life of your infant. The most common cause of low back pain in pregnancy is the growth of the fetus causing strain on the musculature of the lower back while increasing the curvature of the spine. Here are a couple of reasons why the curve in your low back increases and causes you to have pain:
– Postural Changes: During pregnancy, your spine has to adapt to the new force your body is experiencing. Your lower back, known as the lumbar spine, will have an increase in its curvature, helping the body make room for the growing baby. Increased curvature of your lumbar spine can cause pain due to spinal misalignment or muscular imbalance. Every woman carries her child differently. Some mothers carry high in the abdomen, while other mothers carry low in the pelvis. The way your body distributes weight will affect where you are experience pain.
– Gravity Changes: The center of gravity for everyone runs through the midline of our body. As you progress through your pregnancy, your center of gravity changes from midline to the front aspect of your body to help you adapt to the distribution of weight. This switch causes an increased curve in your lower back, creating pain due to the tightening of muscles or joint restrictions. While an expecting mother will create short-term relief by widening her stance and placing her hands on her hips, this pose accentuates the lumbar spine creating lower back pain further down the road. Walking throughout your pregnancy will help you feel more balanced when you inevitably reach the point of your pregnancy when you can no longer see your toes.
– Weight Gain: Weight gain is essential during pregnancy. In those short nine months, your body will change to help your baby grow. The increase in weight goes to the growing fetus, maternal organs and, extra storage of protein, fluid, and fat. I cannot stress this enough that weight gain is a normal and healthy part of pregnancy. Let’s start putting those stretchy pants to use!
Over 50% of women have low back pain during pregnancy
Pregnancy Hormones Causing Low Back Pain
Many hormones play an essential role during pregnancy. Progesterone and Relaxin are a couple of the main hormones that cause soft tissue laxity throughout a women’s pregnancy. These hormones allow the tissues to relax, creating optimal room for the baby to grow and helps the female body relax during labor. What does this have to do with your lower back pain? Increased laxity in muscles can cause postural changes creating pain in certain areas.
Can I Improve My Low Back Pain During Pregnancy?
Over 50% of women have lower back pain during pregnancy. However, just because it is common does not mean you have to suffer through this pain for nine months. Getting down an excellent exercise routine can help decrease your low back pain. Strengthening your core muscles will help stabilize your spine, reducing your low back pain. Training your core is safe during pregnancy as long as there is no twisting or crunching of the abdomen. Getting up and walking is the best thing to do while pregnant. It encourages more blood flow and nutrients to the baby and makes mom activate her core. Hence, decreasing lower back pain. Another great way to reduce your low back pain is to get adjusted by your local chiropractic. An adjustment while pregnant helps your body maintain alignment, making birth, and deliver 24% faster.
After reading this information, I hope you feel calm and prepared for the exciting journey ahead of you. Even though you are experiencing low back pain during pregnancy does not mean you have to deal with the pain for nine months. You are not alone in this journey! Just remember to do these small tasks, and it can make the wait of meeting your little one go by that much faster!
About the Author
Dr. Kati Smith is a pregnancy chiropractic physician based in St. George, Utah. She loves helping women through their pregnancy and postpartum journey. She also has a passion for pediatric chiropractic to help your kids through life’s greatest milestones. Dr. Kati is Webster Certified and trained by the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association.
If you are currently experiencing pain during your pregnancy in St. George, Utah, schedule an appointment with Dr. Kati. Pain does not have to be an inevitable consequence of pregnancy.